Rediscovering the History of Deaf Latter-day Saints

Historically and popularly, the odyssey of Deaf Latter-day Saints has been considered to have begun in Ogden, Utah in 1917. In actuality, the Deaf Mormon story is woven into the same tapestry as the church’s narrative: Deaf upstate New York converts as early as 1832, Deaf overland wagon drivers and walkers, and early Intermountain West Deaf homesteaders, all participating in the faith alongside their fellow non-deaf congregants.

Inside the Mormon corridor exists a story of thriving ecclesiastical units, lay administered by incredibly capable Deaf men and women who contribute to the on-going Deaf Latter-day Saint story. Outside of the Wasatch Front, however, many Deaf Latter-day Saints are too often unaware that there have been others — frontiersmen, pioneers, immigrants — like themselves, those who have experienced and exercised faith in the Savior through a rich and storied visual language, even as the Church was maturing through the nineteenth- and twentieth centuries.

Our research and resulting projects represent a very small way that we are able to give back to the community that has carried, nurtured, taught, and embraced us for more than twenty years. The purpose of our work is to dig, to find, to obsess, to corroborate, to verify, and to otherwise unearth the stories and personalities of Deaf Latter-day Saints that “cry out from the dust.” To our Deaf friends, neighbors, and colleagues: we hope that you will analyze, relate, and retell these stories to the community. These stories are for you.

Read The Deseret News feature on the Ogden Branch’s 100th anniversary in May 2017.

Formal Papers and Conference Presentations

Group Presentations

Research Works In Progress